Updated: Mar 27, 2015 11:29 am Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00)
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Friday, Mar 27, 2015




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Valve's HTC Vive Free for Developers

Valve has plans to offer "qualified" developers the HTC Vive Developer Edition for free ("at least initially") to help jumpstart the fledgling VR game market, reports Ars Technica. They say some Vive Developer Editions have already gone out, and Valve's Doug Lombardi tells them they will provide an online application for "all interested developers, big or small," which they hope to have online by next week.  This is a stark contrast to how Oculus Rift is charging around $350.00 for Rift development kits, which may be more than the price of the eventual consumer units. Valve's SteamVR page has a description of the developer edition:

Built to deliver high-end VR, the HTC Vive Developer Edition is the first look at SteamVR. The dev kit comes with a headset, two controllers and two base stations—everything you need to dive in and start creating new interactive VR experiences. It will be available this spring, followed by consumer edition hardware later in 2015.

Asteroids: Outpost Early Access; Other Remakes Considered

Steam now offers Early Access to Asteroids: Outpost, offering first crack at this survival shooter that shares a name, if not gameplay, with the arcade classic. As noted on Videogamer, this is the first of several sort-of remakes they are contemplating. "Asteroids is the first of a long series of re-births," says Atari COO Todd Shallbetter. "And we are considering doing the same for our other iconic games such as Warlords, Adventure, Tempest, Missile Command and many more." Here's word on Asteroids: Outpost:

Asteroids: Outpost is an open world, sandbox survival game COMING SOON to Steam. Asteroids: Outpost puts you in the role of a deep space prospector, harvesting your fortune and fighting off claim jumpers in the latest exploration of the Asteroids Universe.

We are very excited to officially announce the title to the world. The development teams at Salty Games have been hard at work creating a rich, immersive and challenging universe to explore. We are happy to invite you to join us on our journey to launch. We look forward to sharing more details on game play, in-game assets, videos and beta invites over the next few weeks, so stay tuned.

MotoGP15 Announced

Milestone announces MotoGP15, a new installment in their motorcycle racing series coming this spring to Windows, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 (thanks CarGamingBlog). The detail how this will improve upon prior MotoGP games, summarizing thusly: "Bike, rider, and team customisation. Enhanced career mode. New game mode. Legendary two-stroke bikes. The 2015 MotoGP™ Season. These are the ingredients that promise to revolutionise the game experience for all competitive motorcycling enthusiasts and MotoGP™ championship fans." Here's the official announcement trailer, and here's more:

One of the standout features of this new chapter dedicated to the motorcycle world championship season – a defining characteristic of the 2015 edition of the official videogame of the MotoGP™ – is bike, rider, and team customisation, with more than 100 accessories available for purchase*. Bike: choose from more than 20 bike models across 3 classes, MotoGP™, Moto2™ and Moto3™, choose from 40 different liveries with official colour schemes, and consider offers from the main sponsors to accept their sponsorship during races. Rider: change the colour scheme of your leathers to match your bike, buy boots and gloves and choose your rider’s face. Motorhome: transform your game experience with 3 different motorhomes (Basic, Mid-Range and Top-Range), so your avatar can live in a manner befitting to their level of stardom.
*The 3 motorhomes are available right away, and all of the 100+ accessories can be purchased with GP Credits, a virtual currency that can be earned in any race mode, online and offline.

The second highlight of the new title is the enhanced career mode, now fully integrated with the customisation features. Once you have created your rider (name, face and principal physical characteristics) you start out on the road to becoming world champion. You’ll start racing as a Wild Card and subsequently you’ll be able to negotiate your future career by choosing one of the official teams participating in the 2015 championship, or choosing sponsors to race with your own Private Team, taking to the track alongside the existing teams. Negotiations hinge on your performance during races, meaning your customisation options and resulting appearance are directly linked to your in-game objectives.

The third new component is the introduction of a new game-mode: Beat the Time. In this compelling new race players are assigned a specific bike on a specific circuit. Riders from the different classes featured in the game have set records on that circuit and on that bike. Your aim is to beat that record.

Continue here to read the full story.

Dirty Bomb Beta Returns; Splash Damage Pulls Away from the Brink

The Dirty Bomb website has word that the multiplayer shooter is back in beta, saying: "Dirty Bomb is back online. For Good. No more data wipes, no more major downtime," with this post offering more on how the game is "back for good." This post has details on how you can buy the unfinished game to get closed beta access. On a related note, part of a Dirty Bomb interview on GameWatcher is highlighted in a separate article focusing on one aspect of the upcoming multiplayer shooter. In this, Splash Damage's Paul Wedgewood discusses how they are dealing with some splash damage their reputation suffered from the bomb that was Brink. Paul explains that customer dissatisfaction with their previous game is one of the reasons they are taking such time to develop their next one, saying that waiting for a game to be ready is a lesson they learned (before temporarily forgetting it) from their collaborations with id Software. Here are his thoughts on the situation:

Talking of Brink, once we’d patched it up people gave it really great reviews," he explained. "So think about what might have been if I hadn’t got that launch wrong. Having lag, which is embarrassing, shameful for a multiplayer game. The fact I didn’t catch it just drives me potty, because as soon as we fixed that we got a great response for the game. We’ve got such a great Metacritic score as a studio, seven consecutive hits and then ping… Brink is yellow. And it’s our fault because we really screwed up with the patching. So yes, absolutely, you can’t test long enough. Even after two years we’re still picking up issues.

Steamship Ahoy - Crayon Chronicles

Crayon Chronicles is now available on Steam, offering a Roguelike RPG with papercraft-style graphics. A look at the game is provided by this trailer and there are more details on the Outer Grid Games website, where they also offer a free playable demo. Word is: "Crayon Chronicles offers a relatively short (2-4 hours per play-through) but action-packed RPG experience that randomly generates the level layouts each time you play." Continue here to read the full story.

Morning Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Previews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Safety Dance

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

A horrible noise started up in the basement yesterday that turned out to be the death cries one of the circulators that pushes hot water through our radiators, which are sadly still constantly cranking here in late March. This circulator governed the heat in my attic office, which had been working up to that point, but the first heating guy who looked at it seemed convinced this was related to a problem we have getting heat to the second floor, and started discussing the imprecision of trying to track down the clogged pipes he thought were causing both issues. Thankfully, since we were clearly a bit in the weeds at this point, he called in the big gun from his company, who came in like Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction to set things right. He corrected the misconception the two problems were related, earmarked the broken circulator for replacement, and identified two valves and the likely culprits for the issue on the second floor. The attic is warm again and the first guy is coming back today with replacement valves, and this will likely finish the job with minimal time and expense, not 18 hours after the discussion suggested we might need to replace all our pipes. Ah the joys of home ownership.

Links: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: Juicy Bazooka.
Release the Mooks 3.
Frozen Islands.
Stories: ‘Downton Abbey’ Ending After Season 6.
History’s ‘Vikings’ Renewed for Season 4.
Science: Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Rarely eat it. Thanks Digg.
Media: F-16s, F-18s, and Mirages flying around to music.
Playing Tug Of War On A Boat. Thanks nin.


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Thursday, Mar 26, 2015

The International Ticket Sales Tomorrow

The Dota 2 blog has a FAQ for those interested in tickets to The International, as they go on sale tomorrow through Ticketmaster in two west coast-centric waves, one at 1:00 pm EDT and the other at 1:00 am EDT (which is actually Saturday hereabouts). Word is: "Tickets for The International Dota 2 Championships go on sale tomorrow. Marking the fifth year of the tournament, The International returns to KeyArena in Seattle, WA from August 3 through August 8. All tickets will be general admission and offered in two windows, at 10 am and at 10 pm Pacific time, for $99. Last year's tournament sold out in less than one hour, and was viewed online by over 20 million unique viewers as teams battled for over $10 mil in prizes."

Men of War: Assault Squad 2 Free Weekend

Steam News announces a sale and free weekend are underway for Men of War: Assault Squad 2:

Play Men of War: Assault Squad 2 for FREE starting now through Sunday at 1PM Pacific Time. You can also pickup Men of War: Assault Squad 2 at 75% off the regular price!*

If you already have Steam installed, click here to install or play Men of War: Assault Squad 2. If you don't have Steam, you can download it here.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time

F1 2015 in June

Codemasters announces F1 2015 will launch in June for Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, offering the official video game of the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship, noting this year's installment in the series comes much earlier in the season than past versions. There's a new update on the game on the Codemasters Blog with more on the game along with work-in-progress screenshots. Here's a bit on the game:

F1 2015 is set to take gamers closer to the real-world experience of racing in the world’s most glamorous, exciting and prestigious motorsport thanks to a brand new version of Codemasters’ proprietary EGO game engine. In addition to spectacular visual fidelity, F1 2015 offers a significant step forward in the physics-based handling model of the game, which is designed to be inclusive for both seasoned players and those new to the series. The handling model offers enhancements and additions in over 20 areas, including engine and transmission, aerodynamics, fuel tank, force feedback, suspension and most notably a brand new tire physics model, to recreate the breathtaking handling characteristics of the world’s fastest and most responsive racing cars.

Sword Coast Legends Video

This video is a capture of today's livestream of Sword Coast Legends, the second half of a two-part presentation of n-Space's upcoming RPG (this is part one). Here's word on the clip: "Game Director Dan Tudge narrates the gameplay in the second part of the first ever demo of Sword Coast Legends including exclusive reveals of Dungeon Crawl and Dungeon Master modes. Join in as the intrepid adventurers continue their search for the Ashen Priest following their successful infiltration of the city of Luskan and a challenging encounter with a gigantic Ogre Zombie in the city’s graveyard, in Part 1." Continue here to read the full story.

Tropico 5 Supervillain DLC Released

Publisher Kalypso Media announces the release of Supervillain, a new DLC pack for Tropico 5 for Windows, OS X, and Linux. This is available through the Kalypso Launcher and Steam for USD$3.99. Here's word:

El Presidente is getting tired of this amateur dictator image, so he’s decided that it’s about time he added a little more professionalism to his career and officially become the most famous supervillain in the whole of the Caribbean. Help him achieve his dream in the new 'Supervillian' DLC for Tropico 5, out today for PC via Steam and the Kalypso Launcher. The brand new content for the acclaimed city-builder and political sim tasks players with helping El Prez bathe in the glory of evil madness and destroy mankind as we know it. Build a giant laser hidden inside an evil lair and use it to fire at those pesky rebels! Choose your own supervillain moniker, build a heavily defended top secret hideout and then launch a campaign towards world domination!

Eastside Hockey Manager Revival

Steam now offers Eastside Hockey Manager Early Access Edition, a chance to check out this revival of the hockey simulation series that last hit the ice with a 2007 edition (thanks GM Games, where they have an Early Access review). Here's a bit the plan from developer Sports Interactive:

“We originally published Eastside Hockey Manager as a traditional ‘boxed’ game between 2004 and 2007. However, we decided to shelve it at that point because it simply didn’t make financial sense to continue publishing it in the old-fashioned way.

At that time we were not only badly affected by piracy, we were also hit by the way retail used to work, particularly in the US. Boxed copies of the game would fly off the shelves in places where hockey was popular, but would languish in places where it wasn’t – and there was no system in place for those boxes to be shifted from one State to another. Steam wasn’t anywhere near as popular back then as it is now, so we didn’t have a digital solution to this problem like we do now.

We have never wavered in our belief that there’s an enthusiastic and active fan base for this game which we’ve seen at the Blueline community (http://www.ehmtheblueline.com/) and now, using Early Access, we want to prove that to everyone else.

Getting the game into its current state has been very much a ‘hobby project’ for a few of us at the studio. Up until now we’ve worked on EHM in what little spare time we have (Football Manager keeps us all very busy) but now, using Early Access will give us some budget to be able to put more resources into EHM, whilst not losing any from FM. We’re doing it now because we’ve hired some of the people we need to cover the extra work.

Early Access will also give us an opportunity to get the feedback we need from the community to ensure that this is the game they want to play.

Finally, we need to prove that there is enough demand to justify resurrecting the series fully. Whilst this version has ‘fake’ data, we want to show that there is a demand for a fully licensed version of the game. That won’t come with this release but, if it’s successful, it means we can go to the leagues around the world and get licenses for future, annualised, versions (in much the same way that we do with FM).

And, bluntly, nothing beats a testing resource of hundreds or thousands of people. Your help in this regard is greatly appreciated.”

Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition on Steam

CapCom Unity announces the release of the Steamworks version of Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. Here's the explanation:

Good news! RE5's long-requested "Gold Edition" content is finally coming to PCs as part of the game's conversion to Steamworks. And by "finally coming," I mean it's out now!

If you already own regular RE5 through either Steam or a boxed retail Games For Windows Live, you can acquire a free Steamworks copy and then purchase the new Gold Edition content for $14.99. If you don't own RE5 in any form, you can pick up the entire game (RE5 + Gold Edition content) at a discount price for a limited time. The standard RE5 is also still available, and is also on sale.

Resident Evil 5 ("vanilla" version) - $19.99 | $6.80
Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition - $29.99 | $20.99

For those who didn't already know, Gold Edition was originally released for Xbox 360 and PS3 back in March 2010 - making this week the game's fifth anniversary. Gold Edition collected all the DLC released to that point, including a versus mode, four new costumes, Mercenaries Reunion and two new story-based chapters.

Parcel Early Access

Parcel is now available for Early Access on Steam. Word is: "Frozenbyte is delighted to announce the co-publishing of fellow Finnish game developer Polar Bunny Ltd's atmospheric multi-character puzzle game, Parcel, available now on Steam Early Access. Parcel initially passed Steam Greenlight™ in 2014 with flying colors. Valuable feedback from Early Access players will be used to refine the final product due to be released later in 2015." Here's a trailer and here's a bit on the game:

Parcel is a cyberpunk puzzle game where the player has to solve interlocking laser puzzles using the unique abilities of different characters. The game can be played alone or cooperatively with friends, and already features over 120 fully playable puzzles. A level editor is also included, enabling the amount of playable content to grow within the community. The story of the game follows the adventures of a 22nd century postage company and touches on subjects such as post-humanism (pun very much intended) and virtual reality, with the full intent of boggling the players’ minds with questions about the future.

Utilizing the powers of the team of peculiar postpeople - block-pushing, magnetization, hacking and teleportation - players will progress down a heavily guarded tower with increasingly complex puzzles. Packed with intellectual challenge and “the right kind of frustration”, Parcel aims to be a memorable puzzling experience that will make players think and leave them thinking afterwards.

Continue here to read the full story.

On Sale

  • All Stars Bundle on Bundle Stars. Back in action after selling out of the first batch of keys.
  • Legend of Dungeon on Steam. Save 70%.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X: Steam Edition on Steam. Save 80%.
  • SEGA Publisher Weekend on Steam. Save up to 75%.

Evening Patches

Evening Crowdfunding Roundup

Gatherings & Competitions

Evening Consolidation

Evening Mobilization

Evening Metaverse

Evening Tech Bits

Evening Safety Dance

Evening Legal Briefs

Into the Black

Pillars of Eternity Released

Publisher Paradox Interactive and developer Obsidian Entertainment announce the worldwide release of Pillars of Eternity for Windows, OS X, and Linux. They celebrate the occasion with a new release trailer for the crowd-funded role-playing game, and remind those who are interested that the game is available for purchase through its website. Here's the news:

Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive today released Pillars of Eternity, the role-playing game (RPG) that was funded by over 70 thousand backers more than two years ago. Pillars of Eternity, created in the spirit of the classic Infinity Engine titles like Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale, and crafted by Obsidian with careful attention to fan and backer feedback, is now available for Windows, Mac, and Linux PC. Fans who backed Pillars of Eternity will receive it today, while new players everywhere can purchase and play it at pillarsofeternity.com.

RPG fans will be able to get an introduction to Pillars of Eternity in a live stream with Game Director and Lead Designer Josh Sawyer, scheduled for 3pm PT / 23:00 CET on Twitch.TV, at twitch.tv/paradoxinteractive.

“Moments like these feel surreal when they finally arrive,” said Feargus Urquhart, CEO of Obsidian Entertainment. “Today is the culmination of two years’ hard work, but there’s even more to it than the usual game release day. Given where we were when we started on Pillars of Eternity, this is the start of a new chapter in the story of Obsidian. We’ll be forever grateful to all of our fans and backers for making this moment possible, and truly hope that we have lived up to the faith you placed in us.”
“It’s a rare privilege to get to be part of a passionate project like Pillars of Eternity,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “We promised that we were going to do everything we could to enable Obsidian to keep their promises to their backers. Given how many of us at Paradox were already backers of the Kickstarter, naturally we felt pretty strongly about that. Watching the Obsidian team pour their hearts into Pillars has been inspiring for all of us, and we’re thrilled to be launching the game with them today.”

Pillars of Eternity is an RPG inspired by classic titles such as Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment, featuring an original world and game system that evokes and improves upon the traditional computer RPG experience. Funded via Kickstarter in late 2012, raising $4.5 million through both backer pledges on Kickstarter and Obsidian’s own website, Pillars of Eternity provides RPG fans with a unique experience, driven by classic aesthetics, modern design, and a deep, engaging world for players to explore.

For more information on Pillars of Eternity, visit pillarsofeternity.com.

Continue here to read the full story.

PC Perils of Man Next Month

Indie Swiss developer announces they are bringing Perils of Man to Windows and OS X, saying the desktop versions will include all seven chapters of the episodic adventure when they come to Steam on April 28th. The game was designed by former LucasArts designer Bill Tiller, and it is being ported with the aid of Vertigo Games. "After tremendous feedback from players and press in 2014 and by popular request, we decided to develop a desktop version of Perils of Man," says Mike Huber of IF Games. "With the help of our friends at Vertigo Games, who completed the critical last phase of development, we are now in the position to launch the PC and Mac versions as well as the full iOS version. We are grateful for the support and understanding that our community has shown us these past months."

Battlefield Hardline DRM Follow-up

There's a follow-up on One Angry Gamer to the recent report that multiple hardware changes to a computer with Battlefield Hardline installed caused the game's DRM to deactivate the game's installation. EA's rep for the game Jino Talens explains that Origin allows installation on five different machines per 24 hour period, and that anyone who actually changes hardware often enough to use all those activations can be accommodated by customer service. "Origin authentication allows players to install a game on up to five different PCs every 24 hours," he explains. "Players looking to benchmark more than five hardware configurations in one 24 hour period can contact our Customer Support team who can help."

Uncanny Valley Trailer

A new "101" trailer offers a crash course on Uncanny Valley, Cowardly Creations' upcoming survival/horror game with pixelated side-scrolling graphics which will not invoke the verisimilitude gap the title implies. As can be told from its title, the video provides gameplay details, but according to the description, you shouldn't actually watch it if you're buying this, as they say: "DISCLAIMER: The best way to experience Uncanny Valley is without any prior knowledge of what's to come. Therefore we recommend you to not watch this video if you're already planning on playing it." What those set on the game can do is preorder, as the official website provides the link to get this through the Humble Store, which will also include a Steam key. Continue here to read the full story.

Gatherings & Competitions

Morning Interviews

Morning Consolidation

Morning Mobilization

Morning Metaverse

Morning Tech Bits

Morning Legal Briefs

Game Reviews

Hardware Reviews

etc.

Out of the Blue

While I was pretty confident that Better Call Saul would be good, I am still finding myself shocked at how well the series is turning out. This shouldn't actually be such a surprise after the high standards set by Breaking Bad, but it seemed unrealistic to expect it to live up to them, but it has. Turning a high-school teacher with terminal cancer into the bad guy was a feat, but Vince Gilligan may be outdoing himself by turning a strip-mall lawyer with a mail-order degree into a sympathetic character. I'm already mourning the end of the season, and there are two episodes left.

Better Link Saul: Thanks Ant and Acleacius.
Play: The Zombie Show.
Mechanical Brothers.
Stunt Rush 3D.
Story: HBO’s 'Going Clear' Is a Perfect Scientology Primer.
Science: NASA sets asteroid mission, demo technologies.
Jupiter's moon interaction causes explosive auroras.
Mitochondrial 'smart bomb' could treat brain tumors.
Images: Doom Cosplay Is Ready To Rip And Tear.
Media: If People Left Parties Like They Leave Facebook.
Bus falls through crater in Brazil and then floats away. Thanks The Flying Penguin.
Tom Hanks Does Every One of His Movies in 7 Minutes. Big song ftw.
Schwarzenegger Zombie Movie Trailer.



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